Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story (2021 Lifetime)

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story (2021 Lifetime)

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Cast: Heather Locklear, Jason MacDonald, Natasha Bure

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Kristine and her husband Dr. Richard Carlson had an amazing life with their two daughters. But when Richard tragically passes away, Kristine is knocked off balance. Comfortable with living in Richard’s shadow, she is now forced to navigate the unchartered territory of becoming a single mom while dealing with pressure to become the new face and voice of the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” brand. Looking deep inside herself, Kristine comes to understand the true essence of emotional authenticity and not sweating the small stuff, which leads to the resilience and confidence needed to carry on the legacy of the beloved brand. Heather Locklear and Jason MacDonald star. (2021)

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie starts with Jesse McCartney’s “Beautiful Soul.” (So, you know Lifetime spent a pretty penny on this movie!)

Heather Locklear (playing Kristine Carlson) is driving around bopping along to the music, and her whole world is shattered with a call that her husband has died. (Like, Heather Locklear cries hysterically in a parking lot.) 

Flash to 10 years earlier, Kristine and her struggling author husband Richard are canoodling in bed. He is considering quitting and getting a 9 to 5. Kris is convinced that his new book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” will be huge. She even offers to get a job, so he can keep writing… That won’t be necessary because Oprah calls. 

Richard goes on Oprah to talk about his book, and the book blows up and helps many people. Richard goes on book tours and talk shows. The grind is real, and Richard is rundown. His assistant Brianna seems a little too interested in him and is straight-up rude to Kris. (She thinks she will be an author too and gets upset when Kris is volunteered to write, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women.) 

Richard and Kris’ kids are embarrassed by the notoriety. Jazzy (played by Candace Cameron Bure’s Daughter Natasha.) is off to college with a new boyfriend, and Kenna deals with peer pressure from friends.

Kris is nervous about taking over for her husband, but he is burning out and needs help. Kris is reluctant to write the book, but Richard encourages her with little love notes left around the house. He goes on a work trip, and he dies from a blood clot and dies of a pulmonary embolism. 

Kris has been raising her family and is not used to working. She is upset to learn that her husband only has enough money to give her a few months before she has to start finding a revenue stream. Kris doesn’t take her husband’s advice; she is set off by strangers approaching her in the street and can barely do the simplest things. (Like get her daughter’s ready for school.) 

Flashbacks of Richard and Kris are interspersed through her struggling to come to terms with her husband’s death. The flashbacks show how much the man praised his wife and he kind of took care of everything. Kris is overwhelmed, and so are her daughters. 

The family takes things one day at a time. It is all they can do. Well, that and media training. Kris isn’t ready to be a public figure, but she is set to goes on Oprah in front of 22 million people. 

Kenna is bullied on social media, and Jazzy loses interest in school and declines Berkley. She is tired of being the perfect daughter, who always has to be happy and live up to her father’s standards. 

Brianna returns and sets up a tense meeting with Kris. She compliments Kris’s website design and suggests that Kris is out of her league as the brand leader. Brianna wants to write the next book before the brand dies. Kris is so stressed that she loses her voice. 

Kris spends the downtime drinking coffee and writing. She also works with a handsome man and doesn’t notice that Jazzy is pregnant. Jazzy dramatically tells her mother and wants to keep the baby for a chance to have a good life again. Kris tells her daughters that they are still a family, and even though they might not like one another right now, they are still a family.

A storm rolls in and threatens the family house’s foundation. The girls band together and build a barrier wall to keep the house from collapsing. The incident restores the family’s faith in one another, God, and in Richard’s legacy. 

Jazzy gets a blood clot in her leg similar to the one that killed her father. The family (understandably freaks out). Then she has a baby, and it is all good. 

The movie ends, reminding us that Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff continues to be a best-selling book and updates on the family members. This movie wasn’t ALL that compelling but seemed pretty popular. I’m glad people got something out of the film and the books. Just not for me!

Side Note

Minority Report: Coach, Tim, Elyse, Bently, Jo, Doctor, Jade, Akira,

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*** I’ve updated the rating system moving forward start 7/26/2021. Knives represent # of kills. Wine is over enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend)

Overall rating

Number of Kills: 

🔪 (Knives seem in poor taste for this one.)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine. Natasha Bure was surprisingly good?)

*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

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